Demoncon X – A Comic Convention Review

Cosplayers enjoying their day at DemonCon X. Photo: Tony Esmond

Cosplayers enjoying their day at DemonCon X. Photo: Tony Esmond

Demoncon X…  no, no! It’s not a call back to all the video rentals we craved in the 1980s but actually a comic convention in Maidstone, Kent, now in its tenth incarnation. Run by the people from the Grinning Demon Comic Shop, this is a small(ish) but growing convention that caters to comics fans of all ages. It is held in the Royal Star Arcade, a small shopping centre in the town so you have coffee shops, bars and cafes on hand for the attendees and the hallways are lined with creators and arts and crafts. This time it was an absolute Who’s Who of recently featured downthetubes comics people.

Marc Laming and Matt Harrower. Photo: Tony Esmond

Marc Laming and Matt Harrower. Photo: Tony Esmond

Upon entering the hallway I was greeted by a shout of “SHUT UP, TONY” from Marc ‘Planet Hulk’ Laming and Matt ‘The Big Couch’ Harrower.  (I really need to stop that catching on!)  Sharing a table like the couple of sarcastic comic creators I know them to be, I managed to snag a superb Shadow print from Marc and ordered a very reasonably priced commission from Matt (yes, Captain Britain in case you had to ask).

Marc is killing it with projects at Marvel at the moment and is currently just finishing up on Planet Hulk in the Battleworld series before moving on to a secret project he won’t tell us about.  He’s off to the New York Comicon in just over a month and it’s well worth getting some art from him before then.

• You can find Marc at his blog and on Twitter @monkey__marc

I have been a fan of Matt’s work for a few years now and it’s got a real Jack Kirby / Jim Mahfood feel to his linework. He’s got some big doings in the works and I can’t wait to read his big robots / big monsters book The Big Couch that is due out next year.  He also had some great prints and postcards for sale.

• You can find out more about Matt at and on Twitter @hp_matt

The franchise-spanning "Judge Mario" at Demoncon X. Photo: Tony Esmond

The franchise-spanning “Judge Mario” at Demoncon X. Photo: Tony Esmond

Gaze into the face of Fear... or not. Photo: Tony Esmond

Gaze into the face of Fear… or not. Photo: Tony Esmond

The day fully ignored the horrendous rain outside and carried on regardless. It was a great event for us hardcore comics fans and families with kids. There was a huge variety of scary and non-scary cozplay on show and loads of interesting stalls and activities beyond getting a signed comic or a sketch.

Shaman Kane creator David Broughton. Photo: Tony Esmond

Shaman Kane creator David Broughton. Photo: Tony Esmond

It was great to finally meet the writer and artist on the comics series Shaman Kane, David Broughton. I reviewed this recently for the site and really enjoyed it; it’s a combination of 2000AD visuals and great horror movie homages and is highly recommended. David was great company and we chatted for ages, and I was pleased to see his work was getting loads of attention at his table.

• Pop over and grab a copy of Shaman Kane or any of his other equally great comics at or find out more about this creator at

Dan Abnett. Photo: Tony Esmond

Dan Abnett. Photo: Tony Esmond

Dan Abnett was also at DemonCon, with a boat load of books, trades and comics to sign. Easily one of the best comics writers in the business and also a big contributor to the Warhammer novels series he was great and funny company throughout the day. I grabbed a copy of the re-release of the DC series Resurrection Man in a trade paperback that he signed for me.

• You can search him out and stalk him like a Groot at or find him on Twitter @VincentAbnett

Dean Beattie. Photo: Tony Esmond

Dean Beattie. Photo: Tony Esmond

Man of the moment without fear of hesitation is Dean Beattie, whose Kickstarter for the third issue of the brilliant Random Trials was funded in just eight hours. The story of urban life that is heavily interrupted by the oncoming of strange super powers is a real gem.  I was lucky enough to see the finished art for this unreleased issue and can tell you that you are in for a treat.

• There is still time to pledge over at Kickstarter or follow Dean on Twitter @deanbeattie

Grant Perkins. Photo: Tony Esmond

Grant Perkins. Photo: Tony Esmond

I finally got to have a proper chat with Grant Perkins. The artist on numerous projects for 2000AD and Titan Comics we recently featured him in a piece about the successful Kickstarter for the all ages comic Bayani and the Old Ghosts. He is about to start the work on the art for the third issue of this great series.

• You can find this creator at and on Twitter @TheGrantPerkins

I had a great day with some fun people at this event. A worthy mention goes to comics artist Dave Stokes who told me a filthy joke and made me promise not to repeat it. Another goes to Andy Clift who released issue 4 of Bertie Bear at the event and Mike Garley who made it there nice and early (ever the pro!)

DemonCon X Signage. Photo: Tony Esmond

Photo: Tony Esmond

The next one should be later in the year so keep your eyes peeled on this page for dates times and guests.

• The Grinning Demon comic shop can be found at Unit 6, Royal Star Parade, Maidstone, Kent | Online at | Or find them Facebook

Many thanks for reading.

Categories: British Comics, Creating Comics, Events, Reviews

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